Tag Archives: Minnovare

Pit N Portal equips refurbed Sandvik UG rig with Minnovare Production Optimiser

Emeco-owned Pit N Portal says it has recently rolled out a freshly rebuilt Sandvik DL421 underground drill rig equipped with Minnovare’s Production Optimiser™ technology for use at the Marvel Loch gold operations in Western Australia.

The 10-week build at Pit N Portal’s purpose-built complex in Perth, Western Australia harnessed the collective skills of our specialist tradespeople, headed up by Phil Lipscomb, Workshop Manager.

In addition to the complete overhaul, the unit was fitted with Production Optimiser, which improves drilling accuracy, speed and QA/QC – resulting in optimal drilling patterns and improved stope performance, Pit N Portal said. “The flow-on benefits to the mine include reduced average dilution, increased recovery (reduced bridging) and a faster stope cycle time.”

The Sandvik DL421 is an electro-hydraulic, longhole drill rig engineered for large-scale production drilling in underground mines. It is designed for vertical and inclined plane rings and fans, as well as parallel long production holes and long single holes with a diameter of 64-115 mm, and a depth of up to 54 m, Sandvik says.

Mining Plus adds Minnovare’s Production Optimiser to ‘Mining Rocks’ strategy

Minnovare and Mining Plus have entered into a collaboration that will enable Mining Plus to offer Minnovare’s Production Optimiser technology to its global client base.

The collaboration is part of the Mining Plus ‘Mining Rocks’ strategic pillar, which is designed to highlight and promote the latest value-add mining technology to Mining Plus clients at a time when the industry is experiencing advances in areas such as automation, digitisation and process QA/QC.

Mining Plus Managing Director, Ben Auld (pictured on the left), said: “We’re always looking for ways to add value to our clients. In line with this, one of our strategies is to actively seek out technology with the potential to provide material productivity improvements or cost reductions to the mining industry.”

The Production Optimiser is a system that delivers better production blasting outcomes in underground hard-rock mines by increasing blasthole drilling accuracy and consistency. The value that mines achieve varies depending on the commodity and mining method, however bottom-line improvements include reductions in dilution and/or improvements in recovery, Minnovare says.

Mines have also seen improvements in drilling productivity and stope cycle time, as well as greater QA/QC and command of their drill data, the company added.

Northern Star Resources, for instance, increased drilled metres by 17% at one of its Kalgoorlie gold operations by using the Production Optimiser.

Minnovare Managing Director, Callum McCracken (pictured on the right), said: “Minnovare’s Production Optimiser technology has been widely adopted already in the APAC (Asia Pacific) underground hard-rock mining market. We (Minnovare and Mining Plus) see its application globally.

“The collaboration enables Minnovare to leverage Mining Plus’s global network of highly skilled mining professionals to assist in the delivery and support of the Production Optimiser. This enables us to deliver our technology and the step change benefits it delivers in new markets, while ensuring we maintain the high level of service and ongoing support that our customers have become accustomed to.”

Mining Plus can work with mining companies and contractors to understand the applicability and value that may be achieved from implementing Minnovare technology, the companies said.

Auld added: “Our clients frequently approach us for guidance on their technology strategy. Many clients simply do not have the time or resources to conduct the required analysis or due diligence for a thorough valuation and implementation. This collaboration goes some way to helping to resolve this ‘pain point’ for our clients.”

Minnovare’s drill & blast optimisation software logs new milestone

Minnovare’s CORE product has hit a milestone as the software component of the company’s Production Optimiser system continues to benefit from an increasing number of customers looking to improve their drill and blast operations.

CORE has now logged one million metres of drilling data since the platform’s launch just under a year ago, Minnovare said.

The Production Optimiser system, suitable for installation on all production rig makes and models, “substantially reduces blasthole drilling deviation – which in turn reduces average dilution and downtime (including reduced secondary drill and blasts), whilst improving overall fragmentation and ore recovery”, the company says.

The CORE drill data hub syncs seamlessly with mine planning and drill & blast software (including Deswik, Aegis and Vulcan/Maptek), according to the company, ensuring improvements are seen throughout the production cycle.

Ryan Stimpson, Minnovare Head of Engineering, said: “Every meter provides important insights for our client’s drill and blast operations – precise dates and times, precise drilling locations (compared to the design), and by which drill rig and which driller.

“Maybe best of all – the entire process is captured without the need to decipher questionable handwriting or water-smudged ink like under the old paper plan/plod system!”

With Minnovare CORE, engineers can import drilling assets (rigs), schedules and drill and blast designs from mine planning software – down to the individual hole – and then export them as a digital drill plan (Digi-Plan), accessible by drillers via a touchscreen-tablet mounted onboard the rig, according to Minnovare.

Drillers log actual drill data (including meters drilled) into the tablet and, at the end of each shift, a digital plod (Digi-Plod) is then synced back to CORE, ready to be analysed by engineers and charge-up crews.

“With Minnovare CORE, Digi-Plan and Digi-Plod, engineers and drill teams benefit from a more streamlined, more accountable, data-driven system that improves performance visibility and ultimately productivity across site,” the company said.

Stimpson added: “This level of uptake confirms that CORE is already a critical part of the production cycle for our clients. We’ll continue to listen carefully to feedback from Minnovare CORE users on how to improve the software in a way that positively impacts their role and the productivity of the mine.”

Mincor to leverage new EV, teleremote and production drilling tech at Kambalda

Mincor says it plans to incorporate some of the most modern mining technology to enhance safety, boost operational efficiency and reduce costs at its integrated nickel re-start project in the Kambalda District of Western Australia.

Having released the definitive feasibility study on the project, the company is now awaiting a positive final investment decision from the Mincor Board. It hopes this will be made early in the September quarter. Should all go well, this could result in first nickel-in-concentrate production being achieved in the second half of 2021, it said.

The “Mincor Nickel Operations” DFS confirmed the potential to develop a five‐year operation producing 63,000 t of recovered nickel-in-concentrate for an estimated pre-production capital expenditure of A$68 million ($41 million). This could see the project, which is likely to feature a contract mining model, generate a post-tax internal rate of return of 88% based on the company’s estimates.

Mincor said: “Importantly, the DFS reflects a starting position only as potential extensions to the life of mine have been identified at Cassini, where recent diamond drilling returned a significant intersection of 17.6 m at 5% Ni, which is outside the current mineral resource boundary and has been excluded from the DFS.

“At the Northern Operations, underground drilling is planned once mine development commences targeting extensions and new discoveries in this well-endowed nickel mining area.”

Despite this remaining potential, Mincor has already kicked off an early works program at the operation, which has seen Hampton Mining and Civil Services begin a “discrete two-month program” focused on site clearance activities for infrastructure and services, plus the excavation of the box-cut at the high-grade Cassini orebody, Mincor said.

The mine plan at the project involves scheduling production from three distinct mining operations, Cassini, Miitel and the Northern Operations (Durkin North and the Long mines). The mine design physicals and associated costs for the three all feed into individual mine models, with the outputs from each model forming part of an integrated mining and processing plan to optimise mining and processing schedules. This is all geared around delivering annual average throughput of 500,000-600,000 t of ore to the Kambalda Nickel Concentrator, in line with a toll treatment pact Mincor has in place with BHP Nickel West.

With the start-up of Cassini and the re-start of the mines previously under care and maintenance, Mincor said it plans to incorporate some of the most modern technology at the operation.

An important aspect of the DFS, which the company has previously talked about, is the use of electric light vehicles underground.

Mincor said: “The use of these vehicles has been considered to improve air quality and reduce primary ventilation power costs within each of the mines.”

The company has tested this out recently with a trial of Safescape’s battery-electric Bortana EV at its Long mine.

In addition to this, underground Wi-Fi is set to be used in development and production areas for control of equipment and real-time monitoring of ventilation, pumping and fleet activity. Related to this, teleremote control and laser guided technology on loaders is likely to be employed.

And, lastly, production drills will be fitted with Minnovare’s Production Optimiser to ensure longhole drilling conforms to design, thereby minimising dilution, Mincor said.

The Production Optimiser system combines advanced hardware and software that enhances the speed, accuracy and reliability of long-hole production drilling. This leads to improved stope productivity and, ultimately, increased profitability, Minnovare says.

The technology has previously been employed with favourable results at Northern Star Resources’ Kalgoorlie gold operations.

Minnovare boosts Azimuth Aligner marketing in Peru with Core Tech deal

Minnovare has signed on Lima-based Core Tech as its official sales and support agent for the Azimuth Aligner® product throughout Peru.

Used in mining exploration and civil construction, the Azimuth Aligner automates the drill-rig alignment process – substantially increasing accuracy and efficiency, while reducing downtime and costs by up to 90%, according to Minnovare. It has previously been tested out at LKAB’s Kiruna mine, among other operations.

Established in 1996, Core Tech offers solutions for mining exploration, surface mining, underground mining and construction, providing customers with the best products, brands, services and prices in the region, Minnovare said.

Minnovare Commercial Director, Mick Beilby, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to sign this distributor agreement with Core Tech. Core Tech have built a solid reputation in the Latin American mining sector over the past 20 years. Their cultural fit aligns well with Minnovare’s and we look forward to collaborating with them in the years to come.”

Minnovare has progressively been expanding the reach of its Azimuth Aligner. In June 2019, it signed an agreement with Geophysique TMC that saw the Quebec-based company become the official sales and service agent for these products throughout the Canadian province, while, in July 2018, International Directional Services signed on as a distributor in the US.

NSR transforms Kalgoorlie drill & blast ops with Minnovare Production Optimser

A newly released case study from Minnovare and Northern Star Resources (NSR) has shown just how effective the Australia-based technology company’s Production Optimiser drilling solution has proven at the gold miner’s drill and blast operations.

The study, ‘Northern Star: 1-Year-On’, shows drill and blast productivity has increased significantly since implementing Production Optimiser in March 2018. At just one of NSR’s Kalgoorlie gold operations, the miner achieved 42,000 additional stoped tonnes, or around 8,300 oz/y of gold; increasing revenue by A$18 million ($12.2 million), according to the study.

In addition to this, the technology led to a cumulative 31% increase in drilling productivity, a 7% reduction in average stope cycle time and a 54% decrease in “bridged tonnes”.

Minnovare implemented the Production Optimiser system at one of NSR’s operations in March 2018 – running three long hole production rigs. This was followed by a second operation in August 2018, also running three long hole rigs, where NSR increased drilled meters by 33% – boosting average drill meters towards 10,000 m per rig, per month, it said.

Production Optimiser, which works independently of the rig’s on-board systems and can be retrofitted to any make or model of drill rig, uses Minnovare’s CORE software. This software digitises “drill plans and plods (Digi-Plan/Digi-Plod) for accurate drill-data capture and real-time transfer throughout the mine” to deliver greater speed, accuracy and reliability in rig setup – leading to greater drilling accuracy and optimum blasts, according to Minnovare.

Improved stope productivity and, ultimately, increased profitability follow, the company said.

Jeff Brown (pictured), Principal Innovation and Technology at NSR, said: “We’ve seen average drilled meters across our Kalgoorlie operations increase by up to 33%. That’s a significant impact, which has been underpinned by this technology.

“The follow-on from that increase is an equally significant impact to the productivity and, ultimately, profitability of our operations. It’s a prime example of a new technology can quickly add value to multiple areas – producing a better business outcome.”

Due to the success achieved from the Production Optimiser, NSR has entered into an official ‘Collaboration Agreement’ with Minnovare.

Brown said: “This [agreement] will help fast-track a number of new product developments currently in the pipeline, that we see as having the potential to make just as big an impact on our operations. That’s exciting and promising for us as we look to develop and expand on our assets.”

In addition to the work in Kalgoorlie, NSR has agreed to equip its fleet of long-hole drill rigs at the Pogo gold mine, in Alaska, USA, with the Production Optimiser technology.

Maptek and Minnovare combine expertise to improve underground mining accuracy

Maptek says it and drill and blast technology provider, Minnovare, are delivering streamlined drill and blast solutions to help underground miners optimise their operations.

A project recently completed for an Australia gold miner is a great example of how collaboration between these technology providers can result in better outcomes for mining companies.

Linking Maptek Vulcan™ design and modelling software with Minnovare’s new Production Optimiser system for underground production drilling has streamlined “the connection between design and as-built for more accurate outcomes”, the two companies said.

Ring design data, including images, can now be exported from Vulcan and easily uploaded directly to Minnovare CORE – the Production Optimiser software interface – through scripting provided by Maptek. The Vulcan−Production Optimiser combination helps ensure that drilling follows design. It also reduces the need for re-work, as feedback on accuracy and compliance is available to both the rig operator and the technical engineering team using Vulcan, according to the companies.

Production Optimiser combines advanced rig alignment hardware with drill data capture software, substantially reducing blasthole deviation and average rig setup times, according to Minnovare. “This leads to optimum charge patterns and blasts, with a host of flow-on productivity benefits for an operation, including improved ore recovery, reduced average dilution and a faster stope cycle time,” the company said.

Maptek says it has 40 years’ experience in developing technology and systems that solve daily challenges for global mining companies. “Investment in people, motivated by excellence, innovation and continual improvement, allows delivery of systems that help integrate and streamline mining processes into a single source of technical data to inform decision making,” Maptek said. This includes the scripting that bridged the gap between Vulcan and Production Optimiser.

Minnovare developed the Production Optimiser, which was released in June 2018, in close collaboration with leading Australian gold miners, Gold Fields and Evolution Mining. Since its release the new technology has been taken up rapidly within industry, with leaders such as Northern Star Resources signing an official Collaboration Agreement with Minnovare in August 2018. This has seen the gold miner use it in both Western Australia and, more recently, in Alaska at its Pogo operation.

Analysis that Minnovare has conducted of in-hole survey data proves that circumstances prior to drilling account for up to 70% of blasthole deviation, the company said. This was contrary to the prevailing industry perception that in-hole deviation was the primary contributor.

Northern Star’s Pogo gold mine signs up Minnovare Production Optimiser

Minnovare’s relationship with Australia-based Northern Star Resources has been further strengthened, with the miner recently implementing the Production Optimiser technology across its fleet of long-hole drill rigs at the Pogo gold mine in Alaska.

The implementation follows successful Production Optimiser installations at some of Northern Star’s Australia operations.

Northern Star acquired Pogo, the company’s first mine outside of Australia, from Sumitomo Metal Mining late last year for $260 million.

Ore is currently mined at rate of ~4,000 short tons per day, with three access portals in use to provide underground access to the various underground mining block areas. Mining methods at the Pogo mine vary due to great variability in vein thickness, dip, grade and continuity.

Minnovare’s Production Optimiser system combines advanced hardware and software that enhances the speed, accuracy and reliability of long-hole production drilling. This leads to improved stope productivity and, ultimately, increased profitability, Minnovare says.

The system can be retrofitted to any make or model of drill rig and works independently of the rig’s onboard systems.

A two-month trial of the Production Optimiser, starting in April 2018, at one of Northern Star Resources’ Kalgoorlie gold operations showed the Production Optimiser technology not only increased drilled metres by 17% at the operation, but also help deliver the highest average stope recovery in the life of the operation.

Geophysique TMC to sell and service Minnovare’s Azimuth Aligner in Quebec

Minnovare has announced a new distributor agreement with Geophysique TMC that will see the Quebec-based company become the official sales and service agent for the Azimuth Aligner® range of products throughout the Canadian province.

TMC, Minnovare says, is one of Canada’s leading specialists in geophysical ground data collection. Established in Val-d’Or, Abitibi in 1998, it offers clients specialised mining equipment and consulting services to better prepare mineral exploration work; specifically, in regard to drilling programs.

Minnovare’s Azimuth Aligner is used in mining exploration and civil construction projects to automate the drill-rig alignment process. Minnovare claims it reduces rig setup times by up to 90%, increases drilled metres per shift by up to 20%, reduces costs per drilled metre by up to 15%, sets up 100% of holes within tolerance and increases revenue per rig by up to 10%.

The product is currently deployed at over 100 international mine sites and tunnelling projects, according to Minnovare.

Minnovare Commercial Director, Mick Beilby, said: “We’re delighted to be able to sign this distributor agreement with TMC. TMC have built a solid reputation in the Canadian mining sector over the past 20 years. Their specialisation in drilling applications and their cultural fit align well with Minnovare and we look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

TMC Director, Gabriel McCrory, said: “We are immediately able to offer high quality products to all of our customers in Canada, supported by the professional Minnovare team.”

This latest Azimuth Aligner distributor agreement comes on top of a similar one Minnovare signed last year with International Directional Services for the US market.

Evolution weighs new Cracow gold mine plan following Minnovare Production Optimiser trial

A close to six-month trial at Evolution Mining’s Cracow underground gold mine in Queensland, Australia, has shown Minnovare’s Production Optimiser technology can have a significant positive impact on ore dilution.

In a newly released whitepaper, co-authored by Evolution Mining, the company compared the use of Minnovare’s new technology with the existing rig setup processes and technology Cracow normally uses (either an onboard digital inclinometer or handheld device).

With drilling conducted on 28 stopes (17 with the new technology and 11 with the existing process) for around six months from July to December 2017, the trial showed the Production Optimiser technology recorded 62% less average dilution than stopes drilled using the existing process. This equated to 11.7% overall dilution, compared with 28.9%, respectively.

The new technology, which was trialled using floating-boom mounted Epiroc 1257 and S7 long-hole rigs and a series of rings/holes drilled as part of the mine’s normal production stoping cycle, was proven to limit rig alignment error, reducing average blasthole deviation and increasing the number of holes drilled within tolerance by 160%, according to the report authors.

They extrapolated this data further and concluded that, if an equivalent reduction in dilution were applied to Cracow’s full year 2017 production data to the end of June – when 440,781 t was hauled and 89,496 oz of gold was produced – all things remaining equal, an additional A$8.2 million ($5.9 million) of ore would be recovered, with a A$4.5 million reduction in costs associated with haulage and processing.

As a result, the return per tonne would increase 22%, from A$87/t to A$106/t.

The results were so impressive Evolution is already considering a further rollout of the technology across Cracow.

Evolution Mining’s Phil Jones: “Aside from improving average stope performance, the Production Optimiser has provided us with greater reliability moving forward. With less overall dilution we’re also seeing less variation in dilution across stopes. We now have the confidence to set more ambitious targets, by considering new mine plans and blast patterns that would previously not have been considered.”

Budget dilution going forward at Cracow has already been lowered to approximately 10% in the 2019 financial year to the end of June based on recent successes. This will allow for higher-grade mill throughput and a reduction in mucking, hauling and milling unit costs, the authors said.

Minnovare’s Production Optimiser technology can be implemented on sites running any rig make/model and works independently of the rig’s on-board systems, according to the company.

The system’s hardware engages with Minnovare’s new online client interface, Minnovare CORE, which uses digital drill plans and plods that sync with existing mine-planning software to deliver drill-data capture and analysis capability. The net result, the company says, is a significant improvement in drill and blast efficiency, productivity and responsiveness – throughout the entire operation.

Since release, Minnovare has already signed up Northern Star Resources as a user.